Dental
Dental Assistant

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Salary: $19,928 - $31,744
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Hourly: $10.58 - $17.13
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Outlook: 4 Stars
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Length of Training: up to 1 year
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Career Explorer
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Roadmap
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Dental assistants help dentists examine and treat patients. Their duties include preparing the patients’ for treatment, passing instruments during treatment procedures, processing dental x-rays, sterilizing and disinfecting instruments, taking impressions, making casts of teeth, maintaining patient charts, making temporary crowns and impressions, polishing patient’s teeth and helping to manage the office. They also assist with tasks such as scheduling appointments, treatment planning and ordering supplies. Orthodontic assistants help dentists by placing brackets and tying wires on braces.

Areas of Specialization
Special training is required for dental assistants to take and process x-rays and to monitor nitrous oxide during procedures.


Work Environment

Most dental assistants work in private or group dental practices. Others work in specialty practices, clinics, hospitals, public health departments, or dental schools. They may also work alongside dental hygienists or dental lab technicians. Most dental assistants work 32 to 40 hours a week.